With the current transition of people out of Nigeria, there is a large percentage of couples who are now living apart due to the fact that one person has to go ahead and seek for a greener pasture via a school or job route. The implication of this is that, for the first one or two years, they may have to live apart except for those who went together.
This new arrangement will require patience, communication, trust, and commitment from both partners.
It is not impossible to manage as long as there is a resolute mindset to making this work. Here are some tips to help you navigate the challenges and maintain a strong bond:
Keep a Resolute Mindset: Nothing good comes easy hence a long-distance relationship can be tough, but maintaining a positive outlook can make a significant difference. Focus on the love and connection you share and remind yourself of the reasons why you’re committed to making it work. It is important to foresee the challenges and also prepare for it.
Keep and agree on a Communication Schedule: It is important that you both decide on a communication schedule that works for both of you. This can help manage expectations and ensure you make time for each other despite time zone differences or busy schedules.
Maximise the use of technology: With WhatsApp calls and other platforms that are available now, you can spend less airtime on calls and just focus on maximizing your data use. You can do video calls, chat and express your feelings and keep information with different apps together.
Open and Honest Communication: Now that you are maximising every opportunity to engage with each other, keep your conversation real and sincere. Express how you feel and do not live a discreet life. Every information is important now. and let your mantra be quality over quantity. You will need to also engage the skills that helps communication work. This includes active listening, social intelligence and emotional intelligence so as to reduce anger and unrealistic expectations.
Build Trust with Each Other: If you suspect anything, talk about it as often as possible. Trust is the foundation of any relationship, especially in a long-distance marriage. Trust your partner and avoid unnecessary jealousy or suspicion. Trust is crucial for maintaining a healthy connection and reducing unnecessary stress.
Plan for your future and set goals together: Aside for your information conversations, you need to also discuss your long-term goals and aspirations as a couple. Having shared goals can give your marriage a sense of purpose and direction. Discuss your plans to eventually live closer to each other, if that’s a goal. Knowing that the long-distance phase is temporary can provide hope and motivation. You also need to plan how to visit each other and stay active in the lives of the children if you have. Seeing each other through a defined schedule helps to keep hope alive and overcome temptations and challenges together.
Support your individual lifestyle and dreams: While talking together and building each other up is your goal, it is important to also enjoy your individual life and not stay dependent on your partner. And when you do have a goal or dream ahead of you, support each other as you would have, if you were in the same house. Share ideas and discuss challenges together. Offer your assistance either financially or strategically. The emotional bond you share is a great way to stay motivated too. Have hobbies, friends, and activities that you enjoy separately to avoid feeling overly dependent on your partner.
Resolve Conflicts Quickly: Conflicts are normal in any relationship, but in a long-distance marriage, they can be challenging to address. When conflicts arise, try to resolve them calmly and constructively. Avoid unresolved issues lingering in the background. If you pile up misunderstandings for too long, they can affect your bond and make you get distracted with other people or habits. Listen to each other and give yourselves time to express yourself calmly.
Creatively speak your love languages: Being apart is not an excuse not to express love in the way your partner wants it. If you don’t know the 5 love languages; they are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Physical Touch and Quality time. Some of these languages requires creativity in a long-distance setting like touch, so endeavor to agree on how best to connect romantically. You can plan surprises and also use technology to spend time with each other. In all, stay creative.
Pray for your marriage: You will need more than just a positive mind and communication in your long-distanced marriage, continue to pray together and maintain spiritual routines for yourself and your marriage. So that God’s wisdom and presence can continue to help you both scale through.
Remember, successful long-distance marriages require effort from both partners. Be patient and understanding with each other as you navigate the challenges of being apart and celebrate the love that keeps you connected despite the distance.
If you need to speak directly for counselling, reach out via [email protected]